When I was growing up, my mother worked at a special education school, and when I was in college, I substitute taught at the school. I also have a number of friends with special needs children, so I’m somewhat familiar with the unique demands placed on the parents. However, I’ve only seen things from my female perspective. I honestly never gave much thought to the impact that a special needs child has on a father. Common Man, Extraordinary Call by Jeff Davidson is a first-hand testimony from a dad’s perspective.
The message of the book can be summarized by a Charles Spurgeon quote in the opening pages, “The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” This is the theme of Common Man, Extraordinary Call.
Taking a military approach, Jeff breaks the book up into the different stages of a military career including draft, basic training, protect and defend, surviving civilian assault, and marching orders. Each chapter includes Jeff’s transparent acknowledgment of his struggles and of his growth over time. His goal is to encourage young dads and to share with them his wisdom gleaned from twenty years of parenting. He offers advice based on what he wished he’d known and what he learned along the way.
Interspersed through the book are encouragement letters by Jeff’s wife Becky. She shares her observations of how Jeff dealt with the many issues. She, too, offers advice to dads, pointing out what Jeff did that she appreciated.
While the focus of Common Man, Extraordinary Call is specifically dealing with parenting a special needs child, the information that Jeff provides is relevant and useful to anyone struggling with situations they weren’t expecting. Any parent could benefit from reading Jeff’s powerful story.
Rising Above Ministries Website (Jeff and Becky’s ministry)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.